Santa Monica, California


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What's it like to live in Santa Monica?

Considering moving to Santa Monica

I’ve been commuting from Santa Monica to the valley the past 5.5 years. It’s easy. If you get on the 405 at Santa Monica Blvd. you have some stress at Wilshire but after that it’s cake.

Recommend 10/10 for walkability, city access, fun times. Leaving to buy a house; need more than 6-figures to buy here. But it’s a good city with a good heart. Homeless not an issue in the collegiate streets. They are here but they’re neighbors. It’s not like what we hear closer to the beach.

How's moving to Santa Monica coming from big walkable cities?

Santa Monica is pretty walkable, coming from someone who walks / rides transit almost anywhere they live or visit. I also like that Santa Monica has the ‘big blue bus’ which is really nice… and they’re only in certain parts of LA. I don’t think they go farther than century city? But it took me from century city to Santa Monica in like 25~ minutes in five o’clock traffic. And of course they have the metro which will take you all the way downtown, among other places.

We’re currently in the same boat as a one car household and I WFH. It can be a little isolating at times but it’s totally doable and once the weather cools down, I genuinely enjoy walking most anywhere in this city (with the exception of some neighborhoods). For me though It’s not the driving that sucks it’s the finding parking… so that’s why I like public transit.

Anyways, I’d say totally doable. Good luck with your move!


My girlfriend and I are thinking about moving to Santa Monica this summer. We just visited the city for a few days and loved it! Do any of you locals have tips on where to live? Here are some of our constraints:

Near the water. I would like to be within a mile of the beach. Ideally $3.5k/mo or less for a 1 bedroom.

1** parking spot included.**

Things in walking/biking distance. I want to minimize driving.

The usual stuff - quiet, safe, etc.

Thanks in advance for the advice! is correct. Visiting our fair city "for a few days" is great. It's awesome you had a wonderful time. Now, try experiencing it for a month before you decide to call it home. This means buying groceries, refilling your prescriptions, and doing all the tedious stuff of everyday life. A vacation mindset is different than that of a daily grind.

Yes, the weather is great. The beautiful people are concentrated here. The food variety is mouth watering. There are world class medical professionals all within walking distance of most residential neighborhoods. Amazing recreational opportunities. This paragraph is the severely abbreviated list.

Here's the severely abbreviated list of what's bad. Traffic, high cost of living, homelessness, nuisance crime. Santa Monica was in the news last week as one of the most dangerous cities. This shouldn't be news to anyone and there hasn't been much progress over the years. Back to the traffic for a minute. When you visit again, try driving east along Wilshire, Santa Monica, or Olympic at evening rush hour. Time how long it takes you to drive east of the 405/Sepulveda. Repeat this exercise on the 10 freeway eastbound.

The advantages are obvious to you right now; the disadvantages are not. Once you spend a month in a short-term rental living your everyday daily life, the "normal" irritations of SaMo will become slightly clearer.

Moving to Santa Monica, Do's and Don'ts

Hey Hey! Welcome to the neighborhood: ) I moved from Park Slope, Brooklyn to California about 3.5 years ago. I originally lived in Culver City for a year and then moved to Santa Monica and that's when everything changed for the better for me! I truly fell in love with California then. I could write forever, but I'll give you some basics for now.


Santa Monica is a little city with a downtown (not like NYC, but nice little spot) so if you live fairly close to the water, you'll be able to walk to the beach and downtown pretty easily. This was huge for me because I missed all the walking in NYC.

It's crazy clean (which is weird coming from NYC), but a nice change of pace.

There are restaurants and bars everywhere!

Lots of good people live on the West Side and they are all generally active with dogs. You get to pet lots of random floofs and you get to do yoga with your girlfriend in the park before brunch.

The ocean is your backyard. It's absolutely amazing.

Apartments are rent controlled.

There's a Trader Joes on Pico and it's never had the long lines Manhattan used to. Go to Joes!


You're gonna get a parking ticket. Probably several times within the first year. If you're not lucky enough to have a garage, I have an alarm on my phone that reminds me to move my car daily and it works.

Honest to god, I've gotten pulled over for Jaywalking. I live on Montana Avenue and it seems like Santa Monica police are truly bored. You actually have to respect the traffic lights here. SUPER frustrating. I've never gotten used to it!

People don't know how to act when the weather changes. If it's raining, people stop remembering how to drive. If it's slightly cold, people are walking around in coats and snow boots. I find it to be kind of adorable and super hilarious.

what is SANTA MONICA really like? (tour + a day in the life)